• ChallengeInspirePrepare


Meeting Type:
Board of Education Meeting
Terryville High School Cafeteria
9/14/2011 7:00:00 PM

United In Our Commitment to Excellence in Education

The Plymouth Public Schools’ mission is to ensure that all students learn to the best of their abilities.
We support their growth into knowledgeable, skilled, and contributing citizens
capable of succeeding in their work, personal, and family lives.



WEDNESDAY, September 14, 2011



Present: Board: Raymond Engle, Patrick Perugino, Karen Kulesa,Martin Wetzel, Gerard Bourbonniere, Mark Berube, Anthony Orsini and Daniel Santorso

Excused Absence: Roxanne Perugino

Administrators: Dr. Distasio, Superintendent of Schools, Thomas Meehan, Director of Pupil Personnel & Special Education, Peter Lovely, Director of Curriculum & Instruction, Michael Santogatta, Business Manager and Richard Trudeau, Director of Technology



Mr. Perugino called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m. The group joined in the Pledge to the Flag.


MOTION: To adopt the agenda as presented. Motion Mr. Wetzel, seconded Mr. Bourbonniere, motion passed unanimously.


MOTION: To approve the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of August 10, 2011. Motion Mr. Wetzel, secondedMr. Santorso motion passed unanimously.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 2 September 14, 2011 Minutes


Dr. Distasio introduced the following new certified staff to the Plymouth Board of Education: Geoffrey Brencher – Technology Education, Terryville High School; Stephanie Hudak– English, Terryville High School; Katherine Turner – Mathematics, Eli Terry Jr. Middle School; Brian Rosano – Social Studies, Eli Terry Jr. Middle School;Mollie Moe – Language Arts, Eli Terry Jr. Middle School; Catherine Donnelly – Speech & Language Pathologist, Harry S. Fisher Elementary School; Sandra Dunn – Language Arts Teacher, Eli Terry Jr. Middle School (pending Board approval).

Excused Absence: Molly Palmieri, Mathematics, Terryville High School and

Stephanie Fletcher, Special Education, Harry S. Fisher Elementary School

At this time Mr. Perugino entertained the following Motion:

MOTION: To recess at 7:06 p.m. in order for the Board Members to meet the new certified staff members. MotionMr. Engle, seconded Mr. Orsini motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Perugino entertained the following Motion:

MOTION: To resume regular session at 7:16 p.m. Motion Mr. Engle seconded

Mr. Bourbonniere motion passed unanimously.





  • Dr. Distasio read into the record a letter he received from Theodore Scheidel, Administrative Assistant to the Mayor commending the actions taken by staff members in preparing Eli Terry Jr. Middle School as a shelter during Hurricane Irene.
  • Dr.Distasio read into the record a letter he wrote to the Bristol Press and Republican-American commending the Town of Plymouth for their hard work in preparing for Hurricane Irene.

 Plymouth Board of Education Page 3 September 14, 2011 Minutes


  1. Policy Revision

MOTION: To make the revisions to the policy regarding Administering Medications – Policy 5141.21 as recommended by our nursing staff and medical advisor. Motion Mr. Wetzel, seconded Mr. Bourbonniere, motion passed unanimously.


A. Board of Education Goals

The following are a continuation of the Board of Education Goals from the previous year.

Goal 1: Systematically improve student performance and accelerate academic achievement for all students.

Goal 2: Promote collaboration among parents/school/community through proactive, ongoing, and open communication.

Goal 3: Integrate technology to enhance instruction, information systems, and resource management.

Goal 4: Develop a business plan that effectively manages district personnel and operations while improving fiscal responsibility.

Goal 5: Implement Scientific Research Based Intervention (SRBI) to ensure that all students are receiving the necessary support and services in the classroom and outside the classroom to achieve mastery of the state and district standards.

Goal 6: Create an opportunity for students in Plymouth to participate in a full day kindergarten experience.

MOTION: To approve the Plymouth Board of Education Goals for the 2011 – 2012 school year which are a continuation of the Board of Education Goals from the previous year.

Motion Mr. Wetzel seconded Mr. Orsini, motion passed unanimously.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 4 September 14, 2011 Minutes


B. Appointments


MOTION: To approve the appointment of Sandra Dunn, grade 6 Language Arts Teacher at Eli Terry Jr. Middle School, effective September 14, 2011. Motion Mr. Santorso, seconded Mr. Bourbonniere, motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the appointment of Donna Thomas, paraprofessional at Terryville High School effective September 15, 2011. Motion Mr. Orsini, seconded Mr. Engle, motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the following appointments: Sage Benjamin, Academic Recovery Tutor at Eli Terry Jr. Middle School; Jacqueline Cook, Majorette Coach at Terryville High School for the 2011 – 2012 school season; and Lisa Aiudi, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Advisor at Terryville High School. Motion Mr. Wetzel, seconded Mr. Bourbonniere, motion passed unanimously.

C. Board of Education Meeting Dates for the Calendar Year 2012

MOTION: To approve the Board of Education Meeting Dates for the Calendar Year 2012 as presented. Motion Mr. Engle, seconded Mr. Santorso, motion passed unanimously.

D. Out-of-State Field Trip

MOTION: To approve the trip to Salem, Massachusetts for grade 8 students at Eli Terry Jr. Middle School for October 28, 2011. Motion Mr. Orsini, seconded Mr. Santorso, motion passed unanimously.

MOTION: To approve the out-of-state field trips involving Opportunity High School for the 2011 – 2012 school year. Motion Mr. Bourbonniere, seconded Mr. Wetzel motion passed unanimously.


E. School Calendars

Dr. Distasio presented the Board Members with two (2) possible calendars. One calendar presented a full February vacation and one presented an abbreviated February vacation. He also requested and received input from the administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals and secretaries, nurses, custodians, PTA’s and Student Council. The surrounding school districts were also surveyed with respect to February and April vacation and the start date for the new school year. All of this information was presented to the Board Members.

Approval will be requested for calendars for the next 3 years at the October Board Meeting.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 5 September 14, 2011 Minutes

F. Resignations

Dr. Distasio informed Board Members that he has accepted the following resignations: Tara Sullivan, grade 6 Language Arts Teacher at Eli Terry Jr. Middle School effective September 16, 2011 and Irma Lesser, Psychologist in the Plymouth School District, effective December 31, 2011.


A. Curriculum – Mrs. Kulesa, Chair

Mrs. Kulesa reported the Curriculum Subcommittee met on September 7, 2011 and discussed the following: (1)Terryville High School Schedule and Course Additions for 2011 – 2012 – Mr. Falcone, Principal, presented an overview of the new schedule. The high school has instituted 32 new course selections which include 3 Advanced Placement Courses and 2 UConn courses; (2) Instructional Specialist Overview – Four Instructional Specialists were hired this school year who will work throughout the district with administration and teachers to provide on-going professional development to improve instruction; (3) Google Docs – The district is in the process of switching from a commercially produced writing/data/presentation software program to a free writing/data/presentation software program using Google Docs which is scheduled for completion by the end of the school year; and (4) Title I Program Additions – Two new components have been added to the Title I Program. At the primary level, Leveled Literacy Intervention Program was implemented to help increase the student’s reading fluency and comprehension and at the middle school a reading lab has been implemented for struggling readers.

B. Facilities – Mr. Engle, Chair

Mr. Engle will be scheduling a meeting of the Facilities Subcommittee to discuss the possibility of naming the new courtyard at Harry S. Fisher Elementary School after Mr. & Mrs. Perugino. Both Mr. & Mrs. Perugino have been involved with the schools in our district for many years.

C. Finance – Mr. Bourbonniere, Chair

The Finance Subcommittee met prior to the Board of Education Meeting and reviewed the August accounts by facilities report and moved that it be forwarded to the Town of Plymouth Board of Finance.

Mr. Bourbonniere reminded everyone there is a Plymouth Board of Finance Meeting on Thursday, September 15that 7 p.m. at the Town Hall.


Plymouth Board of Education Page 6 September 14, 2011 Minutes

D. Negotiations - Mr. Wetzel, Chair

No Report

E. Personnel – Mrs. Perugino, Chair

In lieu of Mrs. Perugino’s absence: Mr. Perugino reported the Personnel Subcommittee met with the Superintendent prior to the Board Meeting and all items were addressed under New Business.

F. Policy – Mr. Berube, Chair

Mr. Berube indicated the policy regarding Administering Medications was addressed and approved by the Board under old business.

Dr. Distasio indicated new revisions to the bullying policy would be needed once direction from the State was received.

G. Safety/Transportation – Mr. Orsini, Chair

Mr. Orsini indicated the Safety/Transportation met on September 7, 2011 with regard to restraint seating for a pre-school child. He reported the matter was resolved.

H. Education Connection – Mrs. Kulesa

Mrs. Kulesa indicated the September meeting of Education Connection was cancelled due to weather related issues.

I. Student Representatives Boys Soccer Lewis Mills 1 – THS – 0 (OT)

Tim King – reported on the following items:

  • September 21 Leo Meeting
  • United Way Youth Board – meets monthly at the United Way in Bristol
  • September 15 Open House
  • October 5 – 7 Conferences (parents were encouraged to register on-line)
  • Boys Soccer Lewis Mills 1 - THS 0 (Overtime)

 Plymouth Board of Education Page 7 September 14, 2011 Minutes

Tyler Tarnowicz – reported on the following:

  • New Course Schedule at Terryville High School (Handout)
  • September 8 PTSA Meeting (future meetings will be held on the 2nd Thursday of every month in the high school cafeteria
  • September 15 Open House
  • Class Elections
  • September 21 Speeches
  • September 23 Election
  • September 24 Touch-Truck – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • November 18 Wrestling Night @ Eli Terry Jr. Middle School (more information to follow)

Vannesa Kello – reported on the following:

  • Mandatory CICA meeting for parents
  • Homecoming Events (dates and times to be announced)i.e. dance, pep rally, bonfire
  • September 20 Girls’ & Boys’ Soccer
  • New Soccer Goals
  • Boys’ Soccer Team lost their first game of the season: Lewis Mills 1 - THS 0 (overtime)
  • Cross Country Team had a win


Mr. Lovely, Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Mr. Lovely commended the Terryville High School Administration, Faculty, and Staff for all of their hard work putting together the schedule and new courses over the summer months. A special “thank you’ to Mr. Trudeau for the countless hours, days and weekends he invested in putting this project together.

Mr. Meehan, Director of Pupil Personnel

Mr. Meehan reported the special education programs were up and running, including the pre-school. He also reported on voice communication or students who are non-verbal.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 8 September 14, 2011 Minutes

Mr. Trudeau – Director of Technology

Mr. Trudeau reported on Google Docs; the possibility of the Board receiving their packet through a wireless method; powerpoint; internet browser; and enhancing offerings on-line. He thanked Jeff Telke and Laura McBaine for all of the hard work they put in during the summer to have the system up and running for the beginning of school and also thanked Geoffrey Brencher and tonight’s crew.

Mr. Santogatta – Business Manager

Mr. Santogatta informed Board Members of the following: Chartwells, our food service provider, has provided the district with two $500 scholarships to be given to a Terryville High School senior who is going to further his/her education in the culinary or food service area; the 2011 – 2012 budget looks good; the excess traffic on Rt. 72, has slowed up bus transportation; and the possibility of a formation of an advisory committee with Chartwells, students, parents, etc. with respect to the elementary lunch menu.

Dr. Distasio – Superintendent

Dr. Distasio thanked Mr. Santogatta, Mr. Dennis, the custodial staff, administrators, principals and staff members for a smooth school opening.

He reported that the opening staff meeting was held on August 22 in the cafeteria of Terryville High School. Some of the events which took place were: (a) introduction of Mrs. Andrade, teacher of the year; (b) welcoming speeches from Mrs. Pat Borda, PTA Council and Mr. Patrick Perugino, Chair Plymouth Board of Education (c) announcement of 6 staff members who had perfect attendance last year; and (d) the introduction of Dr. Jodi Ann Tenney who introduced our Instructional Coaches and provided an overview of how they would be used in our schools this year.

Dr. Distasio thanked Mrs. Aiudi for organizing our students who worked at the Terryville Fair who were there and support the Lion’s Club until Saturday afternoon especially during the wake of Hurricane Irene. “Thank You” Mrs. Aiudi for all that you do for the district.

He congratulated the Eli Terry Jr. Middle School Staff, Mrs. Morley, and Mrs. Licata for winning second prize in the Positive Promotions Contest for the school’s Red Ribbon Week.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 9 September 14, 2011 Minutes

 Dr. Distasio made is annual request to parents, to please review with their child the importance of bicycle safety and encourage him/her to always wear a helmet, be careful of traffic and to ride at manageable speeds. At the same time, he encouraged drivers to drive carefully and to be cognizant of children riding their bicycles.

In closing, Dr. Distasio ending by saying as we look forward to another productive school year, let us remember how fortunate we are in our school district. Students are achieving very well academically; our school facilities are in the best shape they’ve ever been; our students are the best in the world; and we have a great supportive and award winning Board of Education.


Mrs. Sheila Mike and Mr. Kenneth Mike

471 South Eagle Street

Terryville, CT

Some of the concerns brought up by Mr. & Mrs. Mike were: (a) the length of time their son was riding on the bus to the magnet school; (b) the bus not stopping for a child; (c) students transferring from one bus to another; (d) the fact that they received a letter indicating the school their child was to attend was a “failing” school. Therefore, they chose to send their child to a magnet school.

Dr. Distasio – (a) to have the Board consider 2 pick-up points, thereby eliminating the lengthy ride and all the students would have approximately a 25 minute bus ride and (b) for clarification purposes, Dr. Distasio indicated that we do not have a failing school. Rather, the school was labeled “school in need of improvement” because of one subset of students within the school, not the entire school. The letter, which was mailed to parents, was mandated due to No Child Left Behind.

Mr. Steve Worhunsky, President Worhunsky Bus Company – Mr. Worhunsky indicated the following: (a) the buses are on the same time track as last year; (b) the bus company’s safety coordinator will look at the Plymouth Center School transfer to make certain everything is done in a safe fashion. If there are concerns, parents are urged to contact the bus company since they have GPS Tracking which has been used in the past.; and (c) parents were notified to have their child at the school bus stop 5 minutes prior to when the bus arrives at the stop. If the buses waited for every child to walk up to the bus stop, this would be cause for the buses to run behind schedule.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 10 September 14, 2011 Minutes


Harry S. Fisher Elementary School – Mr. & Mrs. Perugino

  • New PTA President Ms. Hoadley
  • Meeting take place on the 1st Tuesday of a Month at Harry S. Fisher Elementary School
  • Cost to join the PTA is $7.00
  • September 9 Welcome Back Picnic
  • September 12 – 15 Book Fair
  • September 22 Picture Day

Plymouth Center School – Mr. Engle

  • September 13 Membership Meeting
  • Currently there are 62 members, but looking for more parents to join the PTA
  • Budget for last year has been filed with the State
  • This year’s budget totals approximately $24,000
  • Approximately $9,500 passbook savings
  • September 14 Picture Day
  • September 16 Money due for Cookie Dough Fundraiser
  • October 19th Pick-up Date for Fundraiser
  • $366 Raised on Box Tops
  • October 18 – 21 Book Fair
  • Enrichment Programs Include: Bullying, Mathematics & Science


Eli Terry Jr. Middle School – Mr. Orsini

No Report due to his involvement with Hurricane Irene.

Terryville High School – Mr. Bourbonniere

Letters were mailed to senior parents indicating the institution of a fee of $25 to attend the After Grad Party. A refund will be given for those who volunteer for an event.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 11 September 14, 2011 Minutes


SEPTA – Mr. Berube

No Report other than the next meeting is scheduled for October 21st but is subject to change. Individuals were asked to check the SEPTA website.

PTSA Council – Dr. Distasio

No Report other than the PTSA Council meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. There will be a meeting on September 21st at 7 p.m. at Eli Terry Jr. Middle School

CABE – Mr. Orsini

No Report


Mr. Berube – congratulated all new staff members.

Mr. Engle – welcomed all new staff and student representatives and commended the custodial staff for a job well done.

Mr. Orsini – October 9 – 12 is National Fire Prevention Week; Terryville Fire Department will be celebrating their 100 anniversary; October 23 is Community Safety Day from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. at Terryville High School (fire safety trailer, digital training system, life star landing, jaws of life, numerous safety booths and refreshments)

Mr. Bourbonniere – congratulated the staff and administrators and welcomed everyone to another school year.

Mrs. Kulesa – welcomed new student representatives and congratulated all new staff members.

Mr. Perugino – congratulated Eli Terry Jr. Middle School; welcomed new student representatives and teachers and asked that parents be patient with the bus companies since it will take 1 year to repair Rt. 72.

Plymouth Board of Education Page 12 September 14, 2011 Minutes


Mr. Perugino stated that the next regular Board of Education Meeting will be held on

October 12, 2011 at 7 p.m. at Terryville High School.


MOTION: To adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m. Motion Mr. Wetzel, seconded Mr. Orsini motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,


Gerard Bourbonniere


Copyright © 2016 Plymouth Public Schools
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.